John was standing with two of his disciples, and as he watched Jesus walk by, he said, “Behold, the Lamb of God.” The two disciples heard what he said and followed Jesus. Jesus turned and saw them following him and said to them, “What are you looking for?” They said to him, “Rabbi” — which translated means Teacher –, “where are you staying?” He said to them, “Come, and you will see.” So they went and saw where Jesus was staying and they stayed with him that day. It was about four in the afternoon. Andrew, the brother of Simon Peter, was one of the two who heard John and followed Jesus. He first found his own brother Simon and told him, “We have found the Messiah” — which is translated Christ. Then he brought him to Jesus. Jesus looked at him and said “You are Simon the son of John; you will be called Cephas” — which is translated Peter.
What did John mean when he called Jesus the “Lamb of God”?
When Moses came before Pharaoh of Egypt and demanded that he let the Israelites go out to worship the Lord, nine plagues followed Pharaoh’s refusals to let them go. Moses then told Pharaoh of a tenth plague, the death of the firstborn of every household, and even of the animals. The Lord instructed Moses that each household of the Israelites was to sacrifice a year old, unblemished lamb and apply the blood of this lamb to the doorposts and lintel of their home. The Lord would strike down every firstborn of Egypt, but He would passover the firstborn of Israel when He saw the blood on their doorposts and lintels. The blood of the lamb that was sacrificed would save the people of Israel from the Lord’s wrath. After this tenth plague, Pharaoh told the Israelites to leave Egypt. (Ex 11-12).
The prophet Isaiah speaks of the Servant of the Lord who will offer Himself as a sacrifice for the people. “Yet it was our pain that he bore,/our sufferings that he endured./We thought of him as stricken,/struck down by God and afflicted./But he was pierced for our sins,/crushed for our iniquity./He bore the punishment that makes us whole,/by his wounds we were healed” (Is 53:4-5). The Servant offers Himself as a sacrifice for the sins of Israel, silently and without complaint. “Though harshly treated, he submitted/and did not open his mouth;/Like a lamb led to the slaughter/or a sheep silent before his shearers,/he did not open his mouth” (Is 53:7).
Jesus is the Lamb of God who offered Himself as a sacrifice for the sins of the world, as the Lord’s Servant who was led to the slaughter and by Whose wounds we have been healed.
Intrigued by John’s declaration, Andrew and the other disciple of John followed Jesus to where He was staying. Convinced that they had found the Messiah, Andrew told his brother Simon. On meeting Simon, Jesus changes his name to Cephas, from the Aramaic kepa, which means “the rock”. Petros is the Greek translation, and John’s Gospel was written in Greek. Already, Jesus identified Simon Peter as the rock on which His Church would be built.
Jesus is the Lamb of God. Peter is the Rock on which the Church is built.
Be Christ for all. Bring Christ to all. See Christ in all.